Embroidery Stitch Types

An embroidered design is made up of 3 major stitches types: Satin Stitch, Fill Stitch, and Run Stitch.  Satin stitches are essentially columns of stitches used for making letters, borders, and areas of a design that need columns of stitches.  Satin stitch sizes can go from approximately 1/16th of an inch wide to .25 inches wide.  Rarely do you want to go wider than .25 inches because of the risk of  "picking" the stitches of the finished design.  The Fill Stitch is used for filling in larger areas of the design.  Fill stitches can also be used for lettering and large column areas when it is too large to use a satin stitch.  Run stitches are single lines of stitches primarily used for thin outlines or borders, and for connecting individual elements of the design.


More Examples:

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Click on the thumbnails for more stitch type examples

How stitching works:
Satin Stitches:
The animation to the right shows how stitching of the letter "R" is accomplished using running stitch underlay and satin stitches for the construction of the letter.  The satin stitches are laid from side to side of the column of the "R" to fill in the area. Of course this is a rough representation of how the needle moves on the fabric to create the letter.

Run Stitches:
Running stitches are simply used to connect sewing areas in the design and for thin outlines or borders and areas of detail when a satin stitch is too large to be used.  Running stitches are only as wide as 1 strand of thread.

Fill Stitches:
Fill stitches are used to fill large areas with color. Simplified...they are simply large areas of running stitches that are placed side by side to cover a large area.